By DEUCE NIVEN
There was no second-guessing from the Columbus County Schools as freezing rain began to fall as students were arriving at elementary schools Tuesday morning.
“No, we didn’t have any problems,” Superintendent Alan Faulk said. “I was out at 5:30 this morning. It was 36 degrees.”
Within an hour temperatures had fallen to the freezing mark, not forecast by the National Weather Service, and by 9 a.m. some areas of Columbus County were recording temperatures of 28 degrees.
Some bridges were freezing, with auto crashes reported on several bridges, Chadbourn Fire and Rescue closing the NC 410 overpass at US 74, at least one crash on US 74-76 at US 701 in Whiteville, and a later report of a vehicle stranded on the overpass at Union Valley Road, unable to get across the slick pavement.
There were no incidents involving school buses or students getting to campus, the last of the high school students arriving before 9 a.m., Faulk said.
Forecasts for the remainder of the day called for a slow rise in temperatures, getting above freezing by about noon, roadways thawing in the early afternoon. Faulk said roadways should be safe for travel by the time schools dismiss students this afternoon.
Temperatures in the upper 20s tonight could make a frigid commute for students and faculty Wednesday morning, Faulk said.
“It’s just going to be so cold, the rest of the week,” Faulk said.
Thursday night was looking especially cold, but dry, with at least one forecast calling for a low of 10 degrees, others a few degrees warmer, but still frigid.
For more on this see Wednesday’s Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.